“This story of two sisters, each broken in her own way, is as unflinching as it is compassionate. I was pulled in from the first page.” —Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Together
For her previous novels (Things We Didn’t Say, The Life You’ve Imagined, Real Life & Liars), author Kristina Riggle has garnered fabulous reviews and established herself as a rapidly rising star of contemporary women’s fiction. In Keepsake, she explores that most complicated of relationships, as two sisters raised by a hoarder deal with old hurts and resentments, and the very different paths their lives have taken. As always, Riggle approaches important topics poignantly and honestly—including hoarding and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in her remarkable Keepsake—while writing with real emotional power and compassion about families and their baggage. For readers of Katrina Kittle and Elin Hildenbrand, Kristina Riggle’s Keepsake is a treasure.
Kristina Riggle is a published short story writer and coeditor for fiction at the e-zine Literary Mama. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, two kids, and dog.
What People are Saying About This
Marisa de los Santos
“This story of two sisters...is as unflinching as it is compassionate. I was pulled in from the first page, as Trish and Mary reckon with the devastations of loss and the bonds of family, and as they make their hard, brave, often funny journeys toward hope and wholeness.”
“A seemingly celebratory gathering brings joy, frustration, love and disappointment to a midwestern family in this wonderful debut novel. These are characters we know and care about from our own lives.”
Meg Waite Clayton
“Kristina Riggle addresses the difficult turf of the hoarder with compassion and understanding. With its contrasting sisters-one unable to let go of things, the other unable to allow clutter into her life-Keepsake immerses us in the complicated world of family and love.”
“Backed by Riggle’s trademark unflinching honesty and imbued with heart and hope, The Life You’ve Imagined is a terrific novel about love and loss, letting go and holding on. A book to share with family and friends—I loved it.”
Keepsake 3.8 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel I have read by Riggle and all I can say is WOW. Riggle captured the true psychology of the mind and environment of a hoarder and the dynamic within the family and extended family. Trauma affects people differently and Riggle takes the story down uncharted territory into the minds and lives of two very different sisters who grew up in the same dysfunctional home. Both sisters have their share of issues from growing up in the environment in which they did, both dealing with it in quite different ways. Through the pages of the novel both the sisters deal with loss, disappointment, fear and the fight to move forward despite how hard it may be. Can the sisters really move past their trauma or will the past continue to repeat itself? Grab a copy of this 4.5 star novel to find out for yourself!
More than 1 year ago
I would like to start with the book cover. It's beautiful! If I wouldn't know what the book is about, then deciding only from the cover of the book you expect the content to be something else. It's a classy picture to put on a book which is about hoarding. Slightly misleading on the first sight, but elegant cover in my opinion.
Keepsake by Kristina Riggle is a wonderful book about family ties and relationships, different disorders people are struggling with, about pain, hope and love. Keepsake is a well written novel which is easy to read and it touches topics which many people are familiar with. Keepsake touches your heart deeply.
Regarding the plot:
Reader meets Trish whose life seems to be working fine, at least to herself. Trish is a divorced mother of two kids and she has built her own world where she feels safe and comfortable. Her world is highly influenced by hoarding, she gathers absolutely everything from everywhere and has surrounded herself with things she will never need. But it offers her safety and comfort and an illusion of that she is fine and her family is fine.
Until one day, Trish's son is hurt and Child Protective Services is behind her door wanting to take her kid away. One of the reasons is hoarding. So Trish needs to change her life and give up hoarding which seems unreachable target for her because giving something away is very painful for her. Being a compulsive hoarder, she needs to get help. If not, she will have to face tragical results.
Trish has a sister - Mary. Mary is everything, Trish is not, but also Mary has her hard challenges. She is suffering from the compulsive cleaning disorder.
Trish and Mary need to work together to get Trish out of her problems and as the result you have a fascinating story - Keepsake - about two sisters who are two very different outcomes of a dysfunctional family.
I loved the story! I wasn't very familiar with hoarding before reading the book. I cannot even comprehend what the living of a hoarder would look like in reality, but that problem of mine was very detailed explained in Keepsake. I think Kristina Riggle did a wonderful work to visually show what a home of a hoarder would be. Author also did a brilliant job with the characters.
Regarding the characters:
I felt sorry for Trish. Her hoarding disorder was not understandable for me, but since the author put so many efforts to Trish, showing what she thought and how her world was functioning, she made her inner struggles so clear that Trish was believable for me. She seemed so real with her problems and challenges and that made her lovable character for me. I have to admit, that I am very far from her personality myself, but yet, I truly enjoyed her. I think there was an fascinating depth in her.
Mary was the opposite of Trish. While reading the book I found myself thinking that what an useful disorder to have -the house would always be cleaned and pristine, but as the story develops you see and realize how much it has damaged Mary. None of the extremes are admirable.
The best part of the story was how the relationship between Trish and Mary developed. It was strong, complicated and heart-wrenching. Well done from the author side!
Keepsake by Kristina Riggle is a great novel! I would highly recommend it! It is easy to read, it creates emotions and pulls you in! It shows you the colorfulness of humanity and it gives hope! Loved it!
More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review on Kritters Ramblings
A heartwrenching look at a disease that has become coming up more and more through tv shows and the media - hoarding. The reader immediately meets Trish a hoarder who has CPS on her front door due to an accident in her home with her youngest son. Soon after we meet her sister Mary, who has the exact opposite problem an OCD cleanliness thing.
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